According to a report released by Consumer Reports magazine, levels of arsenic in rice are at unhealthy levels. The report that the magazine released to "Good Morning America" said that eating rice once a day can increase arsenic levels in the body up 44 percent and rice eaten twice a day can lead to a 70 percent increase in arsenic.
Margaret Hamburg from the FDA said to ABC News, "So far our results...we actually have about the same number of samples in (and) these two data sets are fairly similar."
However she added that they see no immediate health threat and, "We are not recommending that consumers need to change their consumption of rice products in dramatic ways," Hamburg said. "We think the best advice is a balanced diet (and) it's good nutrition. There are lots of varieties of grains and other products that should be part of a balanced diet."
During its research Consumer Reports tested more than 60 kinds of rice and rice products in different forms for arsenic including brown and white, whole grain, pasta, cereal for babies and in drinks.
The magazine called some of the rice products to contain "worrisome levels of arsenic" with some products having five times higher levels of arsenic than in oatmeal and more than one and a half times more than the EPA's standards of legality for drinking water.
The also found that rice grown in Louisiana, Missouri, Texas and Arkansas have higher livels of arsenic than other areas of the country. Those four states combined account for 76 percent of rice produced in the U.S.
Inorganic arsenic is linked to lung and bladder cancer and is considered level one carcinogenic. The FDA will now announce its concerns over rice and arsenic and they are studying the issue.
The magazine suggests prolific rice eaters to limit their intake to one serving a day and to rinse then boil the rice in a 6 to 1 water ratio can remove about 30 percent of the arsenic. They also said to not give children under 5 rice drinks as part of their diet.